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North Fair Oaks clinic to offer COVID-19 vaccinations weekly starting Sunday

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No-appointment vaccine clinic in North Fair Oaks starts Sunday thanks to private-public partnership

Thanks to a new public-private partnership, the COVID-19 vaccine clinic in North Fair Oaks will continue to operate on a weekly basis, with enhancements, starting this Sunday.

The NFO clinic, which will offer a more predictable schedule as well as drive-through and walk-up registration without an appointment, will be held Sundays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Fair Oaks Health Center, 2710 Middlefield Road.

The new partnership involves San Mateo County, Dignity Health, Sequoia Healthcare District and the city of Redwood City. Their goal is to provide reliable vaccine access to a neighborhood that was among the County’s hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus.

“Dignity Health and the city of Redwood City will assume most of the operational functions of the site while Sequoia Healthcare District provides funding,” said the County, which will continue to assist with outreach in English and Spanish, including door-to-door canvassing.

“From the beginning, we’ve said that our comeback depends on all of us, and that also means it depends on all of us working together to meet residents where they are at,” said Supervisor Warren Slocum, whose Fourth District includes North Fair Oaks.

Bill Graham, president of Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital, said the partnership will eliminate barriers to vaccinations for local residents, “many of whom have difficulty accessing high-volume vaccination sites due to work schedules and access to transportation, or they lack the technology to book appointments online.”

Redwood City Mayor Diane Howard also lauded the collaboration, adding, “We are all eager to welcome some level of normalcy back into our lives, and these vaccination clinics will be instrumental in getting us there.”

Learn more about vaccination opportunities in San Mateo County here.

Photo courtesy of San Mateo County

San Mateo Public Library locations to open to public May 3

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All three San Mateo Public Library locations will open to the public for browsing, holds pickup and limited computer use starting May 3.

Patrons are encouraged to limit their stay to 60 minutes, and face coverings and social distancing guidelines are required at all times.

“In-person reference will be available on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors,” the Library system said. “Other services include magazine checkout, wi-fi, and limited study tables (one person per table). The Friends of the Library bookstore will be open.”

Last week, San Mateo County Libraries reopened most of its libraries with modifications for the first time since the pandemic began in March 2020.

All Redwood City Public Library locations are currently closed, but all locations offer Curbside Pickup services.

Photo courtesy of San Mateo Public Library

Bicycle Sunday returns to Cañada Road on May 2

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Bicycle Sunday to resume on Cañada Road

Bicycle Sunday, which allows only non-motorized activities on a 3.8-mile segment of Cañada Road in Woodside along Crystal Springs Regional Trail, will resume Sunday, May 2.

The section of Cañada Road between Highway 92 and immediately north of the Filoli entrance will be closed to cars and motorcycles from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Activities like walking, jogging, bicycling, hiking and roller-skating are allowed.

“The Filoli entrance gate will be accessible to northbound traffic,” according to San Mateo County Parks. “Road barricades and park staff will be present to redirect motorized traffic and assist Bicycle Sunday participants.”

The program occurs every Sunday on non-holiday weekends and is funded by the San Mateo County Parks Foundation.

For more information, visit here.

Photo courtesy of San Mateo County Parks

Farmers’ markets in Redwood City, San Mateo set to reopen

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Farmers markets in Redwood City, San Mateo set to open

The Redwood City Kiwanis Farmers Market, located in the 500 block of Arguello Street near Sequoia Street, is reopening Saturday, May 1. The market, the oldest and largest on the Peninsula, will continue Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon through Nov. 27.

In San Mateo, the 25th Avenue Farmers’ Market returns next week. The market, located at 194 W 25th Ave., runs May through mid October, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Other farmers markets locally include the San Carlos Farmers Market, which operates Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Industrial Arts District on Bayport Avenue and Varian Street, near Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company and wineries Cuvee, Flying Suitcase, Russian Ridge, and Domenic.

The Belmont Farmers’ Market runs yearround on Sundays at El Camino Real and O’Neal Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Photo credited to the 25th Avenue Farmers’ Market

Caltrain begins safety improvements at 5 at-grade crossings in San Mateo, Menlo Park

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Project to improve at-grade crossings in San Mateo to impact parking

A Caltrain project to improve at-grade crossings (intersections where train tracks cross a street) will prompt parking restrictions on 1st, 2nd and 3rd avenues in San Mateo next week.

Parking restrictions will start Monday, May 3 on 1st Street and should conclude by the end of the week, according to Caltrain.

“The parking restrictions are needed to allow cars to go safely around the striping work,” according to the transit agency.

The project includes safety improvements at five at-grade crossings in San Mateo and Menlo Park. The San Mateo crossings receiving improvements are 1st, 2nd and 3rd avenues at S. Railroad Ave., and also at Glenwood Ave. and Garwood Way and Oak Grove Ave. and Merrill St. in Menlo Park

The upgrades will include “clearly-marked pedestrian crossings with new paint striping and lettering, and pavement markers,” as well as the installation of a fixed concrete median with flexible bollards designed to prevent motorists from driving around lowered crossing gates.

For more information about the project, visit here.

Photo courtesy of Caltrain

Drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations to return to Event Center as supplies increase

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A mass, drive-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic is returning to the San Mateo County Event Center on a weekly basis starting Thursday due to increasing federal supply of vaccine, the County announced Tuesday.

“The County plans to operate two to three mass vaccination weekly events going forward, depending on supply, with the Event Center site capable of administering approximately 4,000 doses in a day,” the County said.

Meanwhile, the County will continue providing smaller-scale, community-focused vaccination clinics in North Fair Oaks, East Palo Alto, San Mateo, Daly City, El Granada and Half Moon Bay.

Also, the San Mateo Medical Center is using a batch of about 10,000 vaccine doses per week, procured via a federal program of the Health Resources and Services Administration, to conduct mass vaccination efforts targeting populations of homeless, farmworkers and residents in communities where vaccination rates have been lower than the county average.

“Very soon we believe we will have enough vaccine for everyone who wants it, and we hope that is everyone in this county,” County Manager Mike Callagy said. “The more vaccinations we can get out there quickly, the safer this county becomes and the sooner we can move forward to our new life post COVID-19. We need to have everyone think of this vaccine as a life saving measure that moves us closer to normalcy.”

As of April 26, 444,776 residents have been vaccinated, or about 69.4 percent of the total eligible county adult population, according to the California Immunization Registry. Of 115,058 residents 65 and older, 88.5 percent have been vaccinated.

Anyone 16 or over can make appointments up to three days in advance for the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone 18 or over can make appointments to receive the first dose of the Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was temporarily paused for further study over rare cases of blood clots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the greenlight Friday to resume its use, and Bay Area health officials collectively agree that it is safe to administer. Participants will be informed about which vaccine is being administered.

Residents under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Sign up for appointments via the States’s MyTurn system at

Photo credited to San Mateo County

San Mateo County may be losing residents, but housing demand high as ever

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San Mateo County may be losing residents, but housing demand high as ever

More people are moving out of San Mateo County than moving in, a trend that significantly accelerated during the pandemic, U.S. Postal Service change-of-address data suggests. And yet, the real estate market in San Mateo County is as hot as ever. 

“I have been doing this for nearly 20 years in SMC and I have never seen an influx of buyers like we have had over the last 180 days, especially over the last 90,” said Bob Bredel, co-founder of San Carlos-based Dwell Realtors. 

A 4,000 square-foot Emerald Hills home initially projected at $4.7 million recently sold for over $5.5 million within seven days, said Vicky Costantini, who runs Compass along with her son, Enzo. According to the 16-year real estate veteran, “We couldn’t price it high enough.” 

The sizzling local home market appears at odds with ongoing migration patterns. In 2018, 70,717 residents permanently changed their addresses to zip codes outside the County, while 63,244 changed theirs from out-of-County locations to zip codes within the County, a net migration loss of 3,470, according to U.S Postal Service data. The data suggests the net loss increased the following year to 5,588, then accelerated during the pandemic in 2020, when it shot up to 14,218, with 84,068 leaving the County and 69,850 moving in.

U.S. Postal Service change-of-address data suggest San Mateo County has experienced a net migration loss of residents annually since 2018, meaning more residents moved out of the County than moved in.

The data also suggest the pace of exodus isn’t slowing. In the first two months of this year, the County has experienced a net migration loss of 2,540, nearly matching the net loss for all of 2018, according to the data.

Of course, change-of-address data don’t paint the full migration picture. For one, some people don’t notify USPS when they move. And while the data points to an ongoing exodus, the demand for real estate in the County remains strong, particularly for single-family homes. In March this year, the median price of a single-family home in San Mateo County was $1.985 million, according to data from the California Association of Realtors, which is $235,000 more than in the same month the previous year, and $375,000 more than in March 2019.   

Buyers wanting a better deal can look toward the multi-unit market, which “has gone way down” due in part to the pandemic’s impacts and rent control, Constantini said. Rents are down about 30 percent and vacancies are up about 15 percent, which then affects the sales price of multi-unit properties, which is down about 12-20 percent depending on the building, she said.

“Another factor is renovation costs are through the roof,” Constantini said, with spikes in prices on lumber and other building materials making buildings that need work “the toughest to sell currently.”

And yet, the market for single-family homes remains through the roof. A low inventory of homes doesn’t adequately explain the phenomenon, Bredel said. 

We have had low inventory in really every year since 2013,” he said. “The prime difference this year is the number of buyers stacked at each house.  They are stacked 10 and 20 deep at each new listing. All well qualified and serious.” 

Bredel wonders how many people want to move to San Mateo County, but “can’t because they are being outbid on every house or are simply stalled on their housing search.” 

My feeling is this number is as high as it has ever been,” he said. 

To better understand migration patterns, one must also look at who are moving in, who are leaving and for what reasons. 

Costantini describes many single-family home buyers as young tech workers in their 30s, graduates of top schools like Stanford and UC Berkeley, some working for companies that recently went public. 

“They are all coming in with cash, quick closes, zero contingencies,” she said.

The top destination counties for people who filed change of address requests in San Mateo County last year. For example, 40,483 people requested to change their address to another location within San Mateo County, while 8,499 requested to change their address to a location in Santa Clara County.

Bredel suspects one of the larger pools of new citizens in the County is former San Francisco residents. 

“There is no doubt in my mind that many folks gave up the city to have a yard, community, parks, etc, that were more accessible,” he said. 

Costantini echoed Bredel’s observations and added that many of those deciding to move out of San Mateo County may also be families desiring more space and other quality-of-life improvements. While much has been said in national media about Californians leaving Texas for political reasons, migration patterns suggest that the large majority of those departing San Mateo County remained in the state.  

San Mateo County’s middle-class homeowners are being drawn to communities that are less expensive, have less crime and better schools, Constantini said. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend, in part due to worsening of quality-of-life conditions and the rise of telecommuting, she added. 

“The regular middle-class family are finding themselves extremely equity rich,” she said. “In Rocklin (Placer County), they can have pool, huge yard…it’s like Redwood City 16 years ago except brand new.” 

With geographical limitations on building in San Mateo CountyConstantini says she doesn’t see an end to rising prices, albeit there may be fluctuations. That means the influx of young wealthy technology workers will likely continue. 

“They’re doing a lot of good things as well,” Constantini said. “What I hope is that they improve our schools” and “give something back to the community.” 

Photo credit: Getty images

Victim interrupts attempted burglary at San Carlos home

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Domestic violence suspect fatally shot, allegedly used children as shield

An attempted residential burglary in the 100 block of Highland Avenue in San Carlos was interrupted by a resident of the home on Saturday night, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect was wearing a mask and holding a flashlight and was attempting to enter the home by prying open a side door at about 10 p.m., the victim told deputies.

The suspect was startled and immediately left the residence and fled in an unknown direction,” the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies saturated the area but were unable to locate the suspect. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident may call the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at 18005472700.

Photo: Getty images

Bay Area health officers say Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe

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Bay Area health officers agree with lifting pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and its administration should resume in the Bay Area, local public health officers said in a joint statement Friday.

Health officers representing nine Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley released a joint statement Sunday about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which had been paused due to rare cases of blood clots. The pause was lifted by federal regulators this past Friday. The joint statement by health officers follows in full:

“On Friday, the CDC and FDA announced they would accept the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations to lift pausing on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for all adults. The Bay Area Health Officers, representing the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano and the City of Berkeley, concur with the findings of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Western States Scientific Safety Review (WSSSR) that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and that Bay Area health providers should resume its administration to prevent community spread and severe illness and death from COVID-19.

The region’s Health Officers agree that the risk of developing the rare clotting disorder is extremely low. According to the CDC, to date there have been only 15 confirmed cases of the rare clotting event among nearly 8 million total doses administered in the USA, all in females, which translates to a risk less than 2 cases per million doses overall, and 7 cases per million doses among women between 18 and 49 years of age. For those who have a confirmed case of COVID-19, the risk of dying from it in the United States is 1 in 56.

The region’s Health Officers also support the addition of a warning label and the WSSSR’s recommendation that culturally and linguistically appropriate informational materials in an accessible reading level be made available, so that the members of the public can make an informed decision.

The public is strongly urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. All vaccines are proven to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID-19, and people who are fully vaccinated are also much less likely to be contagious or transmit the virus to someone else. The longer you wait to get vaccinated, the greater the risk of contracting COVID-19, and infecting a friend, loved one, or coworker.

People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact their primary healthcare provider if they have concerns or if they develop severe symptoms of headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the Bay Area’s Health Officers, and we will continue to monitor the situation and look to the CDC for any additional future guidance.”

Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash.

21-year-old killed in San Mateo stabbing; suspect in custody

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A 21-year-old man was fatally stabbed in San Mateo Saturday night, and the suspected killer is in custody, police said.

At 11:26 p.m., San Mateo police were dispatched to Cypress Avenue at N. Bayshore Boulevard on a report of a stabbing and found the victim stabbed in the upper chest. He was transported to a local trauma center, where he succumbed to his injury, police said. The victim’s name was not immediately available.

After interviewing witnesses, detectives learned the stabbing “was an isolated incident between people who knew each other,” police said.

The suspect, identified as Carlos Ramirez, 26, of San Mateo, was found hiding nearby and arrested for the homicide.

Anyone with information or security footage related to this stabbing is encouraged to contact Det. Sergeant Paul Pak at (650) 522-7660 or  Anonymous tips can be submitted to here. or by calling (650) 522-7676.

Photo courtesy of the San Mateo Police Department

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